Download Plans to Make an Old Wild West Mining Town for Your
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Mining Town Pack Deal


Download these card stock buildings and construct your own wild west mining town in N scale, OO or HO.

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scale model chart sizes old wild west mining town

This website has an excellent range of downloadable plans for mining town buildings if you are planning a coal mine or gold mine for your HO scale railroad, or for N scale or OO scale model railroads too. Simply download the paper models in easy to use PDF format and you are on your way to building an old mining town complete with original looking buildings of the era. The printable plans of mining town buildings assembled using fast drying clear glue or super glue. Materials used are inexpensive and can include: photocopy paper (about 1 cent a sheet), cardstock (or free card from cereal packs works wonderfully well), balsa wood, and/or corflute (can be purchased very cheaply from discount stores and DIY stores). The materials used are in many cases a personal choice for the rail modeler, but cereal box card and balsa is a popular choice of materials for modelers constructing these type of paper models in HO scale, in UK OO scale, or N scale.

If you are constructing a scale model mining town scene then there are plenty of photographs on the internet all featuring coal trains and coal yards. Even a lot of businesses used a coal fired energy source so there is plenty of scope for switching coal cars in your freight yards and taking them to the factories that can be set up with sidings so that coal cars can be left there for them to unload. That what makes model railroading so enjoyable. Every model railroad is different and there are so many different scales, scenery features, and structures to choose from, even this range of scale model mining town buildings to download and print using paper, card and balsa wood.

Download Plans For 7 “Authentic Looking” Mining Town Buildings Easily Made From Card and Balsa Wood

Adding a Coal Mine To Your Model Railroad

In the days of steam the biggest commodity that the railroads purchased was coal, and this could be mined locally or transported in by rail. So it stands to reason that if you wanted a business to have for your railroad, a coal mine or coal merchant would be a sensible choice, no matter what area you are modeling. Use steam locomotives, or diesel, pulled coal trains taking coal cars to the ports etc.

Construction Tips for Making Highly Detailed True to Life Mining Town Buildings from Downloaded Paper Plans

These download paper plans even include tips for creating the balsa wood supporting structure on the main mining chute building, including suggested adhesive and weathering techniques. (the plans for the paper models are downloadable, so balsa wood and other materials are not included).

The main chute building features a tall hoist house, and ore chutes for either rail or truck loading. The auxiliary buildings you position near or around the main mining chute structure are also very authentic in appearance and enjoyable to build. They could be used for a number of purposes such as accommodation for mine workers, perhaps a school, a site office, and some shacks for the hard working, often heavy drinking miners. The different buildings can be positioned together in several configurations, making the scene mining town adaptable to fit the individual requirements of your layout be it HO scale, or another scale such as OO gauge or perhaps N scale.

Flexibility is a BIG plus with these downloadable paper plans. For example; if you want to extend the length of a mining building, it is as simple as printing off a second copy and joining on another section. The PDF paper plans are stored on your computer, so you don’t need to pay for a second download. You can print off numerous copies (for your exclusive private use) if you choose to. That gives the rail modeler incredible flexibility and is a real money saver when compared to the high cost of buying additional models in plastic.

Making a Scale Model Coal Mine

Article By By Kevin C.

I went to see another members’ railroad the other day and he started talking about his coal mine scene. “I wish we could make it a working mine.” said Phillip “It seems so dead the way it is.” That got me into thinking maybe we could make it a working mine. So some time later I came up with some rough drawings. As the mine was on the side of a hill this would make it easier to hide the workings. Unfortunately Phillip had made his hills from expandable foam so they were not hollow. “That’s ok we can remove an entire section and make up a hollow hill” said Phillip. So we started and cut out a section about nine inches long. We carefully removed his old mine head from the foam and cleaned it up.

The plastic model was suppose to have revolving wheels at the top but these had been glued in place so after some careful cutting Phillip had removed them and sanded old glue residue from the shaft. However we had to make some new top bearings and glued them to the framework of the tower head where we fitted the shaft once the glue had set.

I had made a new hill from shell plaster around a mine shaft that I would use to hold the lifting buckets loaded with coal and they would dump it into a bin that would enable the coal to run back down to be picked up in the lifting buckets again and again.

I had to leave this for a few days for the plaster to set hard and having made a flat section for some track and a coal bin to fill the coal cars. We laid a section of track in place from under the bin to a nearby yard where the switcher could bring the coal cars filling and later take them back for marshalling.

The buckets were made from some styrene sheet cut to shape and glued together and made two and attached them to some white garden line type string after working out the length of each piece. And this would be made into a loop around two pulleys top and bottom that would be driven by a small electric motor equipped with a worm drive. The effect here is not to have the buckets move too quickly and they would pick up the plastic coal from the bottom of the mine shaft and lift it to the top of the mine head and they would tip it into the bin that had a side chute hidden slightly so that the coal would return to the bottom of the mine to be picked up again.

This action took us quite a bit of time to get right so that all the coal went down the chute. We added scatter material and trees to make the scene look as though we had never altered it, and decided we had to also make an administration building and used an old warehouse that I had discarded to my junk box. We fixed it up with a new roof that looked like corrugated iron and we added some rust to make it look older and Phillip distressed and weathered the rest of the building. With the addition of a few working people one with a shovel picking up some spilt coal and the addition of a “Model A” pickup truck and a shingle road completed the whole system.

Early coal cars I suppose would have been gondola’s so we had a few of these and fitted some with the plastic shingle loads that we painted black from other later hopper cars.

Phillip placed one under the coal bin and put the other four in the yard two loaded and two empty making ready to be taken down to be filled. All that remained to be done was to run the wiring for the electric motor back to the control panel. We put a small hole just large enough to take both wires under the base board and ran them along with the loom and Phillip taped them to the loom in places and once we got to the control board I soldered one of them to a switch contact and the other to the neutral connection. Then I ran a wire from the centre contact on the switch to the positive supply.

Phillip took the honours to switch it on and we watched as the plastic coal came up in the bucket and tipped into the hopper and some ran back down the mine shaft to be picked up again. Phillip’s partner said it really looks great. Unfortunately Phillip did not want his layout photographed so I can’t put any photographs on here which is a shame as it really looks realistic.

The mining town history of the western United States in the 1800’s is an meaningful part of US history leaving an enduring history in many remote old mining towns including mining town buildings, and old mine structures. It is a fascinating industrial and cultural history of the western states and old wild western mining town buildings.

Even today there are several remaining ghost towns in America especially located around the West and Southwestern of the United States. Many of the old mining towns were originally constructed in the 1800’s as pioneers and early settlers began mining operations nearby. Some old wild western mining towns were built as stopping points for the railroads. History tells us that many of the old mining towns were abandoned at the point when the mines were no longer viable and productive, or when the railroads no longer had stations nearby. Although this history is important, today’s model railroader is probably more interested in replicating a miniature scale model scene from the old days when mining was at its peak and old mining town buildings and structures were common place alongside a railroad. Modeling a wild west mining town scene for HO scale railroads is a lot of fun-to-make for rail modelers, artists, craftspeople, diorama fans, and children completing a school art or history project. The paper plans on this website include a selection of printable downloads of old mining town buildings ideal for this purpose.

History tells us the western region of the United States was mined by Spanish miners on and off on a smallish scale as far back as the late 1600s. That being said; it was not until 1848 when gold was discovered in California and a gold rush started in the western states.

Fact is; the California Gold Rush that began in 1848 proved to be the largest and most relevant stage in the opening up of the western frontier. The California Gold Rush set the stage for plenty more smaller sized gold rushes and booms spread throughout the old wild west.

Even earlier in the late 1850’s, Colorado saw the Pike’s Peak Gold Rush which triggered the first huge thrust into the Rocky Mountains. Around the same period of time in US history, silver was discovered. The silver was at Comstock Lode, western Nevada.

Back in California, the mining boom was starting to wane after around 10 years of intense mining and gold prospecting. The Comstock discovery of silver was like a magnet and resulted in an exodus of gold miners to Colorado. Virginia City was built at the site of the Comstock lode, which proved to be one of the greatest silver ore deposits ever discovered in the USA.

By the time of the1860’s US prospectors were advancing into every region of the extensive mountainous wild west in search of their fortune. Old wild western mining towns grew from nothing in remote places throughout the wild west. Colorado also saw a massive silver ore boom at Leadville during the 1870’s. Also, gold discoveries in what was then called “Indian territory” around the Black Hills in South Dakota in the late 1870’s started a new gold rush in the region.

A few years later in the 1890’s huge discoveries were uncovered at Cripple Creek, Colorado, and at Goldfield in Nevada during the first decade at the start of the twentieth century. Cripple creek went on to be known as one of the world’s greatest mining districts. Looking back, the goldfields of the early US wild west would turn out to be the best example of the boom and bust history evident in mining towns of the wild west. Sadly by the 1920’s a great portion these early wild western mining towns lay in ruins.

Making scale models of mine structures and old mining town buildings is a fun hobby especially when understand the history around the wild west in the US. Paper plans are a low cost way to construct a complete mining town to HO scale or to N scale without breaking the budget. The printable plans of mining town buildings can be downloaded in PDF format and scaled to HO, N, or OO scales on a home printer. The paper plans look like the real life structures they replicate from US history and a very suitable for positioning alongside train track on model railroads.

Note: The download scale model paper plans featured on this page include the front and side of each building as well as the roof. Detailing and weathering has been pre done. Materials (balsa, glue, card etc) are not included.

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